Despite Government calls not to panic buy fuel, many parts of the country have been hit with shortages of petrol and diesel and long queues at filling stations as people rush to stock up – not just to fill their cars but jerry cans and other containers too.
Although storing fuel at home is not illegal, there are a number of rules and regulations about how much you can store in your home and where. Plus you’ll want to know how long you should keep it for it to be most effective, which we share below.
How much fuel can you legally store at home?
In line with Government and HSE regulations, you can store a maximum of 30 litres of petrol at home or a non-workplace premises. If you store any more than this you must inform your local Petroleum Enforcement Authority (PEA).
If you wish to store any more than this, you must notify your local PEA in writing. You must provide them with your name and address as either the occupier of the place where the fuel is being stored, or the address of where the fuel is being stored if it’s not your home.
There are no legal requirement for how much diesel you can keep at home.
What is the maximum amount of petrol I can store at home?
The maximum amount of fuel you can store at home is 275 litres. You must notify your local PEA if storing anything between 30-275 litres, following the guidelines listed above.
The petrol in the fuel tank in your car does not count towards these allowances.
How should fuel be stored?
Regardless of the volume of fuel, or whether you keeping petrol or diesel there are guidelines for how this is should be stored:
- Suitable portable plastic or metal container
- Demountable fuel tanks
- A combination of the two
Where should I store jerry cans of fuel?
Petrol is a highly flammable substance, so there are additional rules for where this can be stored to keep you and your family safe.
- You must not store containers in living areas. A secure outbuilding, such as a garage or shed is safest
- It should be kept somewhere well ventilated
- Keep it away from sources of ignition
- Do not keep it outside
Diesel is not flammable like petrol, but should still be kept out of living areas and in a secure container.
Remember to keep any fuel out of reach of children.
Is it safe to store fuel in a container at home?
Storing petrol and diesel at home is certainly safe, as long as you follow the storage guidelines and regulations in place:
- Do not store it in living areas
- Keep it in a well ventilated building, away from sources of ignition
- Do not leave it outside
- Keep it away from children
Do petrol and diesel go off?
Once you have filled a container with fuel, there is a shelf life before the quality of the fuel starts to reduce.
- Petrol can be kept for 3-6 months depending on the temperature it is stored at (3 months at 30C, 6 months at 20C)
- Diesel keeps for 6-12 months. After this time it can start to become gummy, which can clog up the filters in your car (causing you issues with your engine)
If the fuel becomes contaminated, the lifespan will reduce further.
Avoid the stress of fuel storage with an electric car
If the regulations around storing fuel and how much you can keep have got you head in a spin, avoid the hassle altogether and consider an electric car.
Simply plug in, charge and away you go. Plus with over 35,000 charging points across the country you'll never be caught out.